The provincial government has announced that it plans to help clean up more than a dozen derelict boats stranded on the Oak Bay side of Cadboro Bay. Black Press file

Province to assist with Cadboro Bay boat cleanup

MLA credits persistence of a Saanich resident in moving the issue forward

Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Andrew Weaver says the provincial government will help pay to clean up derelict boats on the Oak Bay side of Cadboro Bay.

“I heard back from [provincial] staff who assure me that a plan is underway to address this situation, in co-ordination with the District of Oak Bay and the Royal Victoria Yacht Club,” said Weaver. “I expect this to happen imminently,” he said in an interview. Previous efforts to remove them ran into funding trouble. Previous estimates put the clean up at around $14,000.

Weaver said he is glad these boats go. They are unsightly, dangerous and pollute the local environment, he said. “These things just need to go,” said the B.C. Green Party leader.

News of the pending removal has come after what Weaver called a “jurisdictional nightmare” as the various partners have sought to pass responsibility. “There were people pointing fingers and nobody getting on it,” said Weaver.

Weaver credited Saanich resident Eric Dahli of the Cadboro Bay Residents Association for pushing for a solution. “He has been a royal pain in the butt,” said Weaver, with a laugh. “But I commend him for his tenacity. He deserves a ton of credit for it.” Weaver also singled out for Oak Bay’s acting mayor Kevin Murdoch for supplying him with the necessary arguments in his dealings with the provincial government.

Weaver said he had been working on this file well before the emergence of the current New Democratic minority government, which governs with the support of Weaver’s B.C. Green Party.

“No, this has been going on for some time,” he said. Weaver said he had secured a commitment from the previous provincial government prior to the election, but the election and change in government has held things up.

It is not clear yet when the clean up will take place, or what the provincial contribution will be, said Weaver.

What is important to know is that these boats will be cleaned up, he said.